AFC Fylde enjoyed an emphatic 5-1 league victory over Blyth Spartans as the Coasters extended their unbeaten run to 23 games in all competitions and kept the pressure on the two teams above them in the fight for the single automatic promotion spot.
It was entertaining game as both sides pressed in the early stages but it was the Coasters who took the lead on 15 minutes as man of the match Danny Lloyd beat his man out wide and crossed well where Michael Barnes controlled the ball eight yards out and coolly slotted home. It was that man Barnes who almost added second minutes later as a well worked free kick found him in a good position and he forced Spartans keeper Grant into a sharp low save. But it was far from one way traffic at this point as firstly Dale had a long range effort clear the bar by inches and then he was caught in two minds with a clear header from close range. However the man of the moment Barnes created another opening and played a lovely ball into the box where Matt Blinkhorn controlled well and laid off an inch perfect pass for Harry Winter to slot home and double the home side’s advantage.
The Spartans then enjoyed their best period of the game as they chased a way back into the game, their best player on the night Paul Robinson had a corner cleared off the line under his own bar by Coasters defender Dave Hankin and then they were presented with a great opportunity to cut the deficit when Josh Langley brought down Ashley Davis in the box. However Coasters keeper Hinchliffe made a tremendous save and the home side went in at half time 2-0 up.
Blyth started the second half well as first Davis made Hinchliffe save low to his right and then Danny Parker headed over from a corner when in a great position from a corner. On 51 minutes Nathan Buddle brought down Danny Lloyd in the Spartans box and the forward dusted himself down and beat Grant from the penalty spot to make it 3-0. This was closely followed by Lloyd stinging the hands of the keeper with a thunderous shot and then Barnes found a pinpoint cross only for Blinkhorn to head wide with the goal at his mercy.
With 10 minutes to play Robinson hit another great corner and when the Coasters failed to clear the danger the ball found its way onto Arjun Purewal’s head and the ball looped slowly into the net to make the score 3-1. But the Coasters were not finished and with five minutes remaining Lloyd finished a lovely cross from Barnes after Noon heard his shout and the lead was extended. Then as the game entered additional time young substitute Joey Mullen met a Lloyd cross and after initially declining a shot worked a position and found the back of the net and in the process became the youngest league goalscorer ever for the Coasters.
On his 150th game in charge Dave Challinor will have been pleased with both the performance and the boost in goal difference as the Coasters move on to another game on Saturday against Grantham.
AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Hankin, Sumner, Langley, Russell, C Hughes (Booth 46), M Barnes, Winter, Blinkhorn (Mullen 84), Cooke (Noon 74), Lloyd